Looking at the photos of the aftermath of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan has me heartsick. Relief efforts are stymied by less-than-optimal logistics and damaged infrastructure- I live in one of the wealthiest sections of the wealthiest nation on earth, and I experienced firsthand the challenges that a terrific storm can pose. I shudder to think of the conditions in Tacloban.
The arrival of the U.S. Navy, with its unequaled ability to move matériel, will be a game-changer. Simply having 21 helicopters that can transport emergency supplies to remote areas will improve the prospects for a lot of Tacloban residents. This has to be the most welcome arrival of the U.S. military since MacArthur swore to return to Leyte, the very region ravaged by Haiyan.
Hopefully, the aid that the U.S. is sending to the Philippines won't come with too many strings attached... the Filipino government refused a request for a greater U.S. military presence in the country due to fears of undermined sovereignty. This could very well change if the U.S. government decides to play hardball.